Business Is Simple -- It's the People Who Make It Complicated
by Mike McKinley
Maybe you read the title and said, No, this job of mine is complicated, this business is complicated, and it's getting worse! Maybe you've even thought about going off on your own and becoming a one-person show.
Many of the businesses I patronize forget about the simple basics. I have a friend who describes business by saying, “Take care of your customers, take care of your people, count your money.” Too simplistic? Maybe. But let's take a look at where we've come from in business.
There has always been competition. Competition comes from places where people can choose to spend their money. When I was president of a manufacturing company that made mattresses and furniture, we were always in competition, not only with other furniture stores, but also with other big-ticket items. If there were a lot of appliances being bought, then maybe people wouldn't have enough available cash to spend on our products. The same was true for car sales. If people bought an automobile, they tended to put off furniture purchases for a while.
The competition continues today for valued customers who choose what they want to buy, where they want to do business, and, ultimately, whether they want to purchase anything at all. In today's marketplace, the competition is fierce because we have so many options. In our community alone, we have literally hundreds of places where we can buy groceries, dine out, or buy gasoline.
Back in my grandparents' time, those options weren't there, and they probably bought all the above-mentioned products from the same place of business. So maybe business has become more complex. Yet with that complexity, there needs to be much more emphasis on the basics of business.
Here are 10 basics that I've noticed over the years:
Are you, as a player in your business, still enthusiastic about coming to work, or has it become a daily grind? Business excels when those in leadership understand their role and are constantly upgrading the basics to build staff expertise in order to serve customers in unexpected ways.
To me, business is exciting. It has been since I started my own garbage-hauling business when I was 15. Every business I've been in since then has had surprises, problems, stress, change, and fears.
I'm sure your business has all the same qualities. I learned early from my parents that you make business, it doesn't make you. If business isn't engaged in a proactive focus while remaining reactive in its response to trends and customer needs, then there is no business.
That's about as basic as it gets.
Michael McKinley, CSP, CPAE, is a professional speaker who builds and delivers personalized presentations on business topics for corporations and professional associations. He owns McKinley Companies, Inc., whose Thinking Publications division publishes resources for speech-language pathologists. Mike's Alive! Alive! Associates division markets his speaking and consulting services.
Copyright Michael McKinley. All Rights Reserved.
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